The Maritime Academy of Nigeria, (MAN) Oron has described as untrue rumours that some member of its staff were planning to move to the newly-established Maritime University of Nigeria, Okerenkoko.
The Rector who disclosed this recently through Mrs. Alice Mkpandiok said no individual would leave MAN, Oron, to lecture at the MUN, Okernkoko that can only be accessed through the water.
He said, “it is untrue and baseless to say our lecturers want to join MUN, Okernkoko, the school that can only be accessed through water, spending so much hours on water, I beg to disagree.”
He also noted that some new courses had been introduced into the curricular of the institution in order to provide the students with the best form of training in their chosen careers.
“There are other new courses that had been developed. There is a course in meteorology; there is a course on hydrography.
“Apart from nautical science and engineering, there is also ship and boat building technology, which is equally having problem because the students need to be in class for some years and in a ship yard for some other years because you can’t study ship or boat building just in the classroom”.
On whether there were plans to acquire a training vessel for the Academy, the Rector said, “yes, the Minister has given approval, in fact, the contract has been outsourced. So, it is remaining for NIMASA to fund it because the minister mandated NIMASA to do it.”
Also speaking on sea-time training, the Rector revealed that the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, had been of immense help by appealing to organisations like the Nigeria LNG to assist the cadets.
He said that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had been trying its best to put facilities on ground to enable the students have rounded qualifications.
He also disclosed that the Academy was using part of the five per cent accruing to it from NIMASA annually to place the cadets for sea-time experience.
The Rector further said that the Academy had signed some bilateral agreement with the World Maritime University, Malaysia and a Corporation in India to be taking 50 students, 25 from the cadets and another 25 from the engineering every year for training.
“All the papers had already been signed. As soon as NIMASA gives us a go ahead, they will be going on board,” he said.
He further stated that the Academy had entered into another agreement with the Shipping Corporation of Singapore to be taking some of their cadets, adding that some indigenous companies like the Nigeria LNG had agreed to take 15 cadets and 15 engineering students on yearly bases ditto Exxon Mobile which has agreed to give scholarships to the students.
“WISTA Nigeria has been helping some female cadets who excelled so much in academics to grant them scholarships. So, some of them use that for sea-time apart from the help from NIMASA and the government.”
“Then very recently also, the Minister of Transport made it mandatory to the shipping companies operating on Nigerian waters, doing business with Nigeria, to take some cadets on board their vessels to be able to do business in Nigeria. So, that is how far the country and organisations had gone to place our students on board vessels,” Okpo said.
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